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Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “servant leadership”

If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post


If you are a GenX or BabyBoomer business owner/ leader you may want to read this post 

I am just flabbergasted by how many fellow business leaders belonging to the above-mentioned generations who are not embracing Millennials in the work place. They are outright shunning them because Millennials are “lazy, entitled, pampered, unreliable, immature” and so many other not so nice things.

This is just crazy! GenX and BabyBoomer business leaders behave a bit like the last generation of dinosaurs – they may not know it, but they will go extinct eventually. Millennials represent the majority of the workforce already. It will not be long before GenZ folks are knocking at business doors seeking employment. Are you going to shun them also?

The most resistant business managers claim the following two key reasons why they do not want to adapt their businesses to be more inviting to younger folks:

  • Managing Millennials costs too much money. They need more management resources and attention.
    Counter argument is that you will need plenty of structure and training anyway as your organization grows.
  • “If I spend more money on training new people, I will need to pay them more, or they will leave me for better employment.”
    Counter argument is that what if you don’t pay more or train and the people stay anyway?

Here are the top three things Millennials look for joining and staying at an organization:

  1. Purpose: You provide a reason why they should spend their time at your place. “Is my time spent here worth my time and am I making an impact?”
  2. Structure and career path: You provide a clear career path through your organization and you interview and onboard with plenty of documented structure.
  3. Flexibility: You provide a work place where productivity, creativity, and collaboration is rewarded – not just butt in chair time.

Do those three items cost you in preparation and execution time? Absolutely. Realize though that you are not only doing this for this one generation. Employee research has proven that the former generations love and embrace those key items as well – they were groomed to not actively ask for them. Millennials on the other hand listened to their parents and thus do not expect company loyalty and they have been immersed in technology from an early age.

The younger workforce of today is starting to displace the older business leadership generation. Don’t be a dinosaur. Stop working in your business trying to make it another day. Start working on your business and adapt it to embrace the younger working generation. The older workforce will love the changes to and you will be able to show it to your CFO due to a greater profitability through higher employee engagement, which elevates productivity.

Ralf

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Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of


Discover the toughest thing for entrepreneurs to let go of 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

It comes down to adapting to change and letting go of what you knew worked best when you started up your company. I have observed in many a friendly business and even I have been resistant from time to time abandoning a success recipe. After all, that is what got you this far. Challenge is that a business has stages very similar to human life. When maturity hits and we need to hire more people and build up a lot of infrastructure it is tough letting go of the figment our imagination that we call control. We should be hiring people that are much smarter and better equipped than us. We should be delegating and letting middle management take over control over most if not all important parts of our businesses. The one thing that keeps us from moving on is fear.

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. Take for instance the fear of loss. No one wants to lose anything that we have an emotional attachment to. That applies to things, relationships, feelings, etc. Very often we may not even necessarily know if what we are attached to is good for us. What if letting go is the best thing that could happen to us? In this particular case we are afraid to lose our business if we changed the tried and true original business model. Don’t take my word for it. Here is a link to a fabulous book by friend Craig Hughes “The Self-Driving Company: How Getting Out of the Way Enabled My Business to Thrive”. This is the book to read when your start up business is stalling, you have employee turn over issues, you find yourself totally exhausted because you feel like you have to do everything, etc.

A good analogy to being held back by your old beliefs and the things that you are intensely focused on is the way how some monkeys are being caught in Africa. Food or other similarly interest sparking materials are being placed in a space the monkey is surely going to notice. That is typical a hole dug into the ground or an existing cavity in rock formations. When the monkey reaches into the hole grabbing the “bait” his hand no longer fits through the opening of the cavity. The catcher now fast approaches the monkey with the intention to scare him. The monkey stays caught because he does not want to lose the precious things he is holding in his hand (Discover this in action). The more he panics, the tighter he holds on to the loot.

Isn’t that a little like our entrepreneurial situation? The tighter we hold on, the more we get stuck and we get caught. So here is my call to action: Whenever you feel you have run out of options and you do not want to lose what you are attached to, please let mentally go of this attachment. Watch how liberating a feeling it is to look AT your situation and not FROM the middle of it. Ponder if letting go of the old isn’t the best thing that you should do.

Ralf

 

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas! 

I wish everybody a peaceful Christmas holiday. May it be filled with plenty of time spent with people who mean the most to you.

Ralf

4 items that make SMART goals work


4 items that make SMART goals work 

I am going to get a lot of hate mail from life and business coaches about this one, but to me SMART goals are so old school. SMART stands for the goal to have the following characteristics:

  • Specific: Is the goal stated specifically enough that you will know you have reached it?
  • Measurable: Is the goal able to be evaluated, either qualitatively or quantitatively?
  • Attainable: Can the goal be achieved?
  • Relevant: Does the goal align with the goals of your company of function?
  • Timed-based: What, specifically, is the target date for its completion?

They do have a place in business, although they should be used sparingly. What is the problem with them? SMART goals are stupid because they are almost exclusively result based focused and very rarely if ever people-focused. People are the ones working on the goals though.

So here is my peace offer to everybody who staunchly insists SMART goals are a must. Because SMART goals are like a boat with no sail, kick your game up with adding a SAIL component to your goals. I recently read about this in Tasha Eurich’s book “Bankable Leadership. In short you help include the people side of your goals like this:

  • Stretch: Is the goal challenging enough to make the person raise their game?
  • Ability: Does the person completing the goal have the ability (or reasonably learn to accomplish it?
  • Importance: Does the goal feel personally important to the person blessed with this goal?
  • Learning: Does the goal help grow their skills in a way that they want to grow them?

Now we have a really powerful goal set because you made it personal to the folks having to worry about executing them. The business of business is business. That is unlikely to change, but businesses cannot function without people. It cannot be ignored that people do business with people. Humans have needs, wants, desires, dreams, and their own goals. Kick up your SMART goals with blowing some wind into SAIL goals.

Ralf

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